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Harry Potter 7CD Collection - MUSIC discussion


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1 hour ago, Richard Penna said:

'bizarre ordering' doesn't feel like harsh language for me. I stand by using the words 'completely ruined' for the spiders. It's such a good set piece in the film which I feel Williams missed on album.

 

I don't remember that cue but the album as a whole seemed more rounded than the other two, not clobbered with irritating repetitions (the never-ending setup of Hedwig's Theme) or the sudden intrusion of ill-fitting children's suite stuff (PS) or the anti-climactic build of POA, with a 12-minute suite encapsulating stuff you just heard a few minutes before in exactly the same way. The RAH concert was proof, though, that this score requires much more mastery than the other two, as it is heavily fragmented and wheat and chaff aren't that easily to distinguish (a lot of the last third of the movie is rather textural and not easy to cut).

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The whole thing is still surreal to me, that I would even be asked to work on something so large and important!  The whole thing came together extremely quickly (especially for 7 discs / 8 hours of mu

This set is the best album I have ever bought. It’s still unreal to me that all of my favourite music from my childhood is newly remastered and released. I’ve been looking forward to discussing every

Williams wrote that music for the deleted Sir Cadogan scene.  The cue was then tracked into two different spots in the final cut, one of which was artificially slowed down.   The little 10 s

3 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

 

I actually like JW's suites much of the time. They bring together related material very well.

 

My anti-OST stance with Williams almost always comes down to either crucial missing material or bizarre track ordering that ruins any sense of narrative. Both affect the HP OSTs. He completely ruined the wonderful spider/car sequence in CoS by separating the tense build-up and the amazing chase cue, and the time travelling cues in PoA begin with a rather downbeat section for Buckbeak's rescue and then afterwards introduce the actual time travelling. If Williams claims to want to take listeners on a 'journey' then IMO these decisions are working against him.

 

But back to positivity... this set fixes all of these narrative problems beautifully :)

 

19 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

 

Well, all's good. I never said you couldn't air your opinions.

 

It's just that "completely ruined" and "bizarre ordering"... such phrases feel like such an exaggeration to me, but if you really feel that way, then okay. I just felt the need to defend Williams (or his decisions), because I don't feel so strongly about the OST albums at all. In fact, I love and treasure them, with all its little flaws. That's all.

 

 

 

This is always sort of my inner dialog with certain OSTs. Specifically on HP3. 

 

I honestly don’t mind the OST for HP1 at all. I think it’s such a smart and clever musical experience. It wasn’t really until Chamber of Secrets that I started really feeling like I was missing things and frustrated by the way the OST was done. POA was even worse. 

 

Now, that being said. The OSTs just accomplish something very different. They’re albums, and are more about the experience like other albums are. I do appreciate having them though. They’ll definitely stick around in my library.

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43 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

It's just that "completely ruined" and "bizarre ordering"... such phrases feel like such an exaggeration to me, but if you really feel that way, then okay. I just felt the need to defend Williams (or his decisions), because I don't feel so negatively about the OST albums at all. In fact, I love and treasure them, with all their little flaws. That's all.

 

Nostalgically I have *some* fondness for the first album. If you take it as essentially a concept album for JW's work then most of the decisions are at least understandable. However, if you take a younger me who didn't understand how score albums worked, it left me thoroughly confused: where's the rest of the score? Where's Entry into the Great Hall?

 

Furthermore - confession time: I never 'got' the Children's Suite and outside of the Prologue and HWW, I actually find the rest really boring and it's not in my playlist. JW's 'chamber' style really doesn't do it for me. However, it's great that it's there for virtually everyone else :)

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1 minute ago, Richard Penna said:

Furthermore - confession time: I never 'got' the Children's Suite and outside of the Prologue and HWW, I actually find the rest really boring and it's not in my playlist. JW's 'chamber' style really doesn't do it for me. However, it's great that it's there for virtually everyone else :)

 

It was a laudable thing to write (also some of it is more interesting than the plush Disney-fied orchestration of the main score) but i wouldn't have mixed it with the Home Alone/Hook-like scoring. You feel that two different pens were at work and it just doesn't mesh well (same for the dog harp tune, but that's diegetic at least).

 

Reflecting on these scores i guess Williams really slided into COS with ease, as the new themes and the underscore seem more swift, less lumbering than Part Uno, which has a very editorializing feel (akin to the boring movie).

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

The whole thing is still surreal to me, that I would even be asked to work on something so large and important!  The whole thing came together extremely quickly (especially for 7 discs / 8 hours of music!) and it all happened in March, so it's a bit of a blur, really.  I mostly remember the thrill when Mike finally got access to every take recorded for COS, and he could look for some of the stuff we thought might exist on early takes based on the sheet music.  When he founder the earlier Prologue cue, and the original endings to Petrified Colin and Follow the Spiders, I was ecstatic! 

 

But the most thrilling parts were probably hearing music I never even knew existed before - Hedwig's Theme for Harp, Hogwarts Forever (Vocal Version), and the 3 COS television commercials.  And the fact that they are all SO cool on top of simply being "new" was icing on the cake.  And of course finally hearing clean Azkaban music after all these years was ecstatic.  If I recall correctly, I couldn't stop myself from listening to Rescue of Sirius first, before listening to the entire album in order.

 

For Car Drives Off and the original Firebolt, we knew they existed from the sheet music, just no idea if they were recorded.  For Azkaban, Mike received a huge archive of cues from Warner Brothers and a different archive from the music editor, and the earlier Firebolt was right there, no issues.  For Car Drives Off, we knew it might exist based on the sheet music leak, and once he got every take of every cue, he found it and we were thrilled we could include it.  For Aunt Marge's Waltz alternate opening, I never even knew it existed, and when he told me he had an alternate opening I had no idea what to expect.  When I got to that track on my first listen, I was pleasantly surprised by how it sounded; I prefer it over the original opening!

 

Mike and I have been friends since my first trip out to LA in 2013, and he solicited my help on a title in 2016 (it hasn't come out yet).  After that I helped in very small ways on CE3K and ET in 2017, and during a phone call in the spring of 2018 he asked me if I'd be willing to help him on a new project, and that turned out to be Harry Potter, and of course I said yes.

 

Our interactions are a blend of phone calls and emails.  Emails typically for quick questions or exchanging of files or organized information, and phone calls for discussing various options or just kind of catching up on the status of various projects.  It should be clear that 100% of the editing, mixing, assembly, and mastering work is entirely done by Mike, and if he asks for my opinion on how anything might be sequenced I will provide it, and he will either take it or not.  If he is determined that something should be presented in a certain way I wouldn't try to talk him out of it, but I certainly did feel that every opinion I gave was considered genuinely, whether he ultimately went my way or not.  I had no access and did not directly hear any unmastered studio elements; Once he was happy with an assembled and mastered album, he would dropbox it to me for me to listen and give feedback.  The feedback would be about the order of tracks, the editing of cues withing the tracks, and the mastering too.  Very little changed between the first version of each album I heard and the final one that got released.

 

Great insight @Jay. Very cool. I'm so thrilled you got to be a part of the sets creation and discovering all these awesome extra gems and alternates sounds like an awesome experience. Thanks for answering all those broad questions!

 

Thanks also for clarifying some of my thoughts and questions about the score as well. 

7 minutes ago, Jay said:

First of all I deserve no credit for any cue combos, those were all 100% decided by Mike.  The music at the end of "Befriending the Hippogrif" is an unused cue called "Bonding with the Hippogriff" intended to be used after Buckbeak's Flight, but dropped from the final film.

 

Well Mike did an awesome job. So many of these combos blend together wonderfully. That's really cool.

 

8 minutes ago, Jay said:

Nothing the sound guys did is included on the set in any way.  That is how the cue was recorded.

 

I think for this, what I had meant to imply was that Williams clearly wrote this "Clock bell" sound into the cue. I was merely curious if you knew whether the clock bells you hear throughout the rest of film was something Williams had recorded that the sound guys used throughout the film or if the other clock tower chimes were purely just the sound guys and Williams almost emulates that sound in the Executioner. I assume they were the work of the sound guys since we don't hear the Clock Bells in "Sirius Says Goodbye / Turning Time Back" for example.

 

11 minutes ago, Jay said:

You're just hearing how Williams originally scored the scene, in the final cut of the film a portion was replaced by music tracked in from Lupin's Departure.

 

Ah. I see. That makes sense now. Great to have the original intention! Just didn't know what the film was doing there. Makes perfect sense now.

 

Thanks again for taking the time!

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Just now, TSMefford said:

I think for this, what I had meant to imply was that Williams clearly wrote this "Clock bell" sound into the cue. I was merely curious if you knew whether the clock bells you hear throughout the rest of film was something Williams had recorded that the sound guys used throughout the film or if the other clock tower chimes were purely just the sound guys and Williams almost emulates that sound in the Executioner. I assume they were the work of the sound guys since we don't hear the Clock Bells in "Sirius Says Goodbye / Turning Time Back" for example.

 

I'd assume all clock bells in the film are from the sound team

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19 minutes ago, King Mark said:

I've been listening to these longer than you and I've been pissed we don't have unreleased music since 1983 when RotJ came out

 

You are too old, that's another problem, grumpy old man!

 

😋

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12 hours ago, crocodile said:

Without going into much detail... I prefer his more concise recent writing. It's sort if what happens to most composers late in their careers. They just sort of cut to the chase without showing off. Second reason is that I generally don't like his "kids" music as much as some other stuff. That is why one of my favourite scores of his recent career are The Book Thief and War Horse.

 

Having said that, I enjoy his Potter scores and looking forward to revisiting Azkaban later today.

 

Karol

 

I know whachu mean. I really admire this element of his more recent writing, especially when it comes to his drama scores, but there's something...off about his new Star Wars scores. There is some _great_ music in them, some truly wonderful stuff, but then there are stretches where it sounds a little more block-handed; the music is thick and stuffy, lots of suffocating, held out string chords, that sort of thing. It just doesn't have that present-minded richness I expect from him...every contemporary score I hear from him outside of Star Wars though has it, including BFG and The Post, so maybe it's just the recording or performance, I don't know. 

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5 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

the music is thick and stuffy

There is a distinct stylistic shift in John's music from this decade.  Does seem more introspective, less spontaneous.  I think this works wonderfully in The Book Thief and Lincoln.

As for Star Wars, like you say it is hit and miss.  TFA feels a bit heavy.  TLJ, at times, despite heavy use of existing melodies, does not have the Star Wars "magic" to use a crude term.  But, it is an incredibly well-crafted score.  I suppose one has to approach it more introspectively.

 

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I never got bent out of shape back in the 70’s and 80’s with missing music. I got plenty enjoyment out the soundtracks that were released at the time.

 

That being said, I’m not complaining about complete released becsuse there was a lot of great music left off. 

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I think HP1 is a fine concept album in its own right, but I never really had any particular affection for the “album experience” of the other two. Though to be honest I’ve never really gotten into the whole art of that, anyway, I’m generally more of a “singles” guy than an “album” guy. I’d rather listen to my four favorite tracks than sit through an entire album repeatedly, with a few exceptions. Complete score releases are great because everything’s there and it lets me pick and choose what I like.

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15 hours ago, TSMefford said:
  • Gryffindor Wins The House Cup (Disc 2, Track 18)
    • 1:46-End is just pure gold. Especially the statement at 2:09. Goosebumps
  •  

 

 that was main beef with the CoS re-recording of that track .That statement is omitted

 

Is there a glitch at 6.54-6.57  of The Firebolt and end Credits Suite ? Why does the volume dip and the music sounds distorted?

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1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

I think HP1 is a fine concept album in its own right, but I never really had any particular affection for the “album experience” of the other two. Though to be honest I’ve never really gotten into the whole art of that, anyway, I’m generally more of a “singles” guy than an “album” guy. I’d rather listen to my four favorite tracks than sit through an entire album repeatedly, with a few exceptions. Complete score releases are great because everything’s there and it lets me pick and choose what I like.

 

Yes, that's how I do things most of the time. I start from a particular point and listen from there.

 

Curiously, I don't do that with non-soundtrack albums, such as the one I have on now (Ilse DeLange, World of Hurt). I will usually have a track or two that gets more playtime than the others, but it's far more likely that I'll just play it as an album.

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12 minutes ago, King Mark said:

 

Is there a glitch at 6.54-6.57  of The Firebolt and end Credits Suite ? Why does the volume dip and the music sounds distorted?

 

Just sounds like the performance to me. I don't hear a distortion.

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16 minutes ago, King Mark said:

 that was main beef with the CoS re-recording of that track .That statement is omitted

 

Is there a glitch at 6.54-6.57  of The Firebolt and end Credits Suite ? Why does the volume dip and the music sounds distorted?

 

I noticed that too. Maybe it’s just a flub (by the trumpets?)

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The long track when they save Buckbeak - the transition to the new bat version - there is a weird flub, like a few frames are played twice - just before the new bat insert sets in.

 

8 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

All I hear is that the strings between the brass stabs aren't as prominent which for a nanosecond makes it feel like the music has stopped. This is what I referred to in another post, that I'm not a fan of this recording.

Maybe JW wasn't either.

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My parcel is still floating in customs limbo, but I finally managed to listen to PoA, thanks to The Net. It was a lovely experience. I went for a walk in the countryside, it was cold but sunny, and there were fallen leaves everywhere. What can I say? The OST didn’t even begin to outline how complex, weird and diverse this score is. Such a great soundtrack. Compared to HP1 (which I love) or HP2, it’s a bid odd assembly of tracks ‘cause a lot of cues are short, disconnected and transitional, but it’s really an incredible and massive tapestry of sounds, and some track combos are quite enjoyable. I will surely let it sink in and listen to it a lot from now on, so I can put some more thoughts to words. Every minor issue (yes, even the absence of the shawm) disappears when listening to this masterpiece. The only thing that left me puzzled is the already mentioned WTTP overlay in Lupin’s Transformation: sound like two unrelated cues squashes together, and I think I have to get used to it. As for the infamous frequency cutoff, I tried putting the infamous cues (OST and LLL) side by side, switching from one to the other and, well: I might be hearing impaired but I really can’t hear the difference, even with big ass fancy headphones with good frequency response, so... guess adult males actually can’t hear shit above 15khz after all!

 

(that 5 second shawm loop though 😭)

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25 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

The long track when they save Buckbeak - the transition to the new bat version - there is a weird flub, like a few frames are played twice - just before the new bat insert sets in.

 

Noticed that too. Perhaps the cue is just slightly longer and MM didn’t wanna cut it to match the film version?

 

Edit: nevermind, it’s just a different tempo, I listened to it again and it flows fine. Had a similar impression with The Flying Car but I just have to get used to it

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I almost feel like puitting the Teaser version of Double Trouble in place of the OST one in the main body of the score

 

So far may only problem with the assembly is the opening of  PoA Track 08 Trouble Takes Many Forms .That should lead into Double Trouble but it feels weird to have it after.

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3 minutes ago, Space Pineapple Prod. said:

 

I have heard a live orchestra play parts of this score and this is more immersive. I didn't even think that was possible.

 

Well, that's natural, though, isn't it? It's John Williams conducting the orchestra and coaxing the best out of the players under a controlled setting (meaning it's not a live performance, where a few mistakes are always bound to happen)...

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5 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

 

Well, that's natural, though, isn't it? It's John Williams conducting the orchestra and coaxing the best out of the players under a controlled setting (meaning it's not a live performance, where a few mistakes are always bound to happen)...

 

Well I wouldn't say that. I'd consider my experience seeing ESB live more immersive than any time I've watched the movie or listened to the score. 

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59 minutes ago, Space Pineapple Prod. said:

 

Well I wouldn't say that. I'd consider my experience seeing ESB live more immersive than any time I've watched the movie or listened to the score. 

 

Well, depends on what your definition of "immersive" here is.

 

If you mean it's immersive because of combination picture and live performance, then needless to say, a CD set can't compete.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

 

Well, depends on what your definition of "immersive" here is.

 

If you mean it's immersive because of combination picture and live performance, than needless to say, a CD set can't compete.

 

 

 

I don't think it was that. Every live performance of the Imperial March, movie or no movie, has brought me close to tears. This set replicates that same level of wonder.

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